We started off the day with our first dive, a 2-tank dive, in the trip starting where we dove at Suck Em Up and then Kaloko. During our first dive at Suck Em Up, we had a 50 minute dive in the clearest water I have ever been in. Since the water was so clear, our dive group was able to spot a white tip shark cruising the same depths were I dove to 82 feet. This was the first and only shark I saw while diving. Others in my group said they saw a turtle but I did not. Also while on the dive, eels seemed to thrive in every nook and cranny you would look into. On our second dive, we exchanged our tanks for filled ones and explored Kaloko were we had another 50 minute dive filled with eels but were greeted by 2 frog fish. These motionless coral looking fish seemed to be hard to find but luckily our dive master spotted 2 of these camouflage masters for us. I was shocked to see these as I have only seen them as high dollar fish only inches long in aquariums which made me think they would be rare and we wouldn’t find any.
After the dives, we headed back to the monk seal rehabilitation center and turned into a volunteer. First, we were able to watch some of the live stream of the seal, which the center uses as they try to limit human exposure. Then we looked at blood samples from the monk seal under a microscope since the volunteers monitor the blood of the seals to ensure they are healthy on every level. Then we monitored the seals activity rough the live stream and tracked what it was doing, anything from moving to vocalizing would need a tick mark on the sheet.
Ending the day, we went back to the NELHA building for a briefing over the black water dive and Josh Lambus came to tell us about his job, which is an underwater photographer. Josh showed us some of his impressive photography of the nocturnal fish. From bio-luminescence to transparency qualities, every fish looked like they were from another planet. The talk and pictures boosted my desire to venture out in the black water for diving even more.